Feline UTI's and Stress

My cat is suffering from another UTI infection. Vet thinks it could be feline idiopathic cystitis… we are getting ready to do a urine sample now. Unfortunately she has started anti biotics again so am thinking that this won’t do much good… at least from a culture standpoint?

Also, can stress cause these recurring UTI’s? I got a kitten last August and my older kitty hates her. She is constantly hissing at the kitten… so am thinking that this could be the root cause? I have no idea, but makes me wonder? Any thoughts on that?

Are you feeding her wet food already?

Stress can cause UTIs. I have a cat that has historically been prone to UTIs and when we got a kitten they flared up much more frequently. We had the vet pretty much on speed dial the first year.

It might be worth looking into Feliway diffusers and separating them when you are not home.

1 Like

She’s on wet and dry food. I’ve been trying to get the other cat to go outside… there is definitely hissing going on in the house from my older kitty. She does not like the younger one and hisses at the other alot. I’ve got litter boxes upstairs and down but both require going through hallways to get to. Often the younger cat is around and it is too close of quarters.

I am trying to get the younger one outside more often, but she really likes indoors. Unfortunately, I think I may have to re-home the younger cat. The younger one likes to go outside on her terms so I may try to get her out more often and then lock her in the basement when inside to see if that helps. But that is not much life for a younger cat that loves her people. So I’m very torn. I do not like the thought of re-homing my animals…

I feel you. It’s really tough. I might ask your vet about UTI-targeted wet foods.

Kittens are shittens until they are 3-4 years old. And I’ve found it sometimes takes that long for the hierarchy to settle when there’s an older house cat involved.

I considered rehoming my little kitty as well. She was super sweet to her people, but constantly looking to snipe my old lady. I even made a thread on COTH about it, actually!

She’s much better now. She still is prone to stalking the older cat around the house, but I’ve found that management has played a role: she is more likely to do so if she is hungry/before feed time, and also more likely to do it if she is bored. So I got a lot of toys, play with her a half an hour a day when I first get home, and also separate her from the old lady when I’m not around.

Oh and, the SO got this humongous cat tree - like 8 feet tall - with a little box on top. It’s the perfect place for my older cat to sleep where the kitten can’t get her.


Yes, stress can cause cystitis flareups in cats. I once had a cat that would literally piss blood when he was stressed. He was frustrated at being kept in at night unable to prowl and defend his territory (yes, he was neutered). I started letting him out at night and the cystitis episodes went away.

Please don’t be too quick to rehome your kitten. It can take a while for cats to adjust to a new housemate, but they usually do in time. Beowulf’s suggestion to get a Feliway diffuser might help. Also ask your vet if an anti-inflammatory or short acting steroid might help settle the symptoms.

1 Like

I have used the feliway and didn’t feel it did much. Guess I could drag it out again… I might need to just separate them for awhile. If the younger one can go outside, that will help as she wills stay out for about half a day. Then I guess I could let her have the basement the other half for awhile.

Yeah, that sort of angst between the cats can absolutely cause enough stress to kick in a sterile cystitis.

If you’ve not found feliway to be effective (look for the multicat version, I think it comes in a red box) then I’d ask the vet for some drugs. Prozac is often used in cats. Getting them both on it should help–being so stressed has to be miserable for them.

I would also suggest considering CBD, it helped my diabetic/acromegaly cat.

2nd this. If the cat isn’t already on special urinary food, you might want to try it or ask your vet about it.

All the cats have been on Purina urinary tract food and this kitty is getting wet and dry every day.

Thanks for the suggestions… I’ll check into the cbd and other feliway

I fed my stressed kitty this too. I don’t think it made a difference. She still had normal, almost routine UTIs.

I swapped to 100% wet and feed Weruva. I didn’t see a difference in the Px brand UTI foods either. Since swapping the flare ups are slightly less often, but I also have made some management changes that might have factored in.

what kind of management changes did you have to do? Do you know what the stressors were? I can switch to a different wet food as well… that isn’t an issue. I’d love to not have to feed the dry urinary tract food. I don’t think the cats like it very much.

Absolutely stress can cause UTIs. My cat Duncan is the prime example. He would block up with what they called idiopathic mucous plugs and was horribly prone to crystals. I tried all kinds of different foods including the ones especially for urinary problems and nothing helped. My vet finally suggested prozac and that did it. He’s had one episode since then and that was because we were moving from really a unhappy place to a much smaller living space. (I will never ever rent a studio apt again.)

I might be too soon for a kitten to go on drugs but if nothing else works perhaps it could be a short term solution?

Well I got a urine sample this morning using the no sorb litter from the vet and its still bloody after being on clavamox since Saturday. So something is definitely going on. Waiting for the vet to pick up the sample. Hopefully will find out sooner than later.